Tag Archives: destination

Sanghiang Island, Indonesia: A Hidden Private Beach, Just For You!

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I just want to share with you, that I had a good time with my guys….

… To Sail to a distance sea

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… To randomly jump off the boat

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… To find ourselves in a swamp..

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… To find a place to drop the anchor…

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…To walk our feet cutting through the island

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…TO FIND OURSELVES IN THIS BEAUTIFUL HIDDEN BEACH WITH NO ONE ELSE BUT US (OOHH…! I STILL REMEMBER THE GOOSEBUMP)

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…To run in excitement for this present God has given us..

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…To gather around and laugh..

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…To enjoy the sunset from down there..

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…or up there..

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SUCH A BEAUTIFUL MEMORY!

P.S.: Sanghiang Island is located in Sunda Strait, between Java Island and Sumatra Island. As shown in the picture below, Indonesian government has started to build a bridge connecting the two islands. Rest assured *cynically* that Sanghiang will lose its virginity once the bridge is built.

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So just grab your backpack and go now!

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Pahawang Island, Indonesia: Walking on The Water? Done That!

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This is it! This is the place to get one of my bucket list checked: Walking on The Water. Separated about 1 km away by the sea, I can walk my feet crossing the two Islands of Pahawang Besar and Pahawang Kecil.

It’s not just about walking on the water, Pahawang Island is apparently also a good place for diving or just snorkelling. Well, it’s not the best in world, though.aIMG_6658aIMG_6668

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So, where is it and how to go?

This adventurous place is located at Lampung province, Indonesia.

This is how I reach there from Jakarta:

  1. From Jakarta, drive away to Merak Harbor
  2. From Merak, ride a ferry to Bakauheni Harbor (fee: IDR 20.000)
  3. From Bakauheni, drive to Ketapang Harbor
  4. Ride a boat to Pahawang Islands

Quite easy to go, right? So, if you have this wanderlust and die die once in a lifetime desire to try to walk on the water, just go to Pahawang Island. If you live in Jakarta, 3D/2N is all you need. Sounds like a good plan for weekend, isn’t it?

Check out the video here. Ciao!

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Mount Krakatoa, Indonesia: A Beauty, Not A Threat

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Right on valentine’s day in 2014, people of Indonesia is shocked by the eruption of Mount Kelud. As I am writing this, the disaster has killed 3 people while also forced authorities to shut down some airports and evacuate more than 100.000 people as the ash has blanket most part of Java, Indonesia’s most populous island.

It was just a week before when The Eruption Mount Sinabung, another Indonesian volcano, made its way to appear in local newspaper headline for the tragedy it caused.

This morning, as I am planning my trip to Pahawang Island next week, it was reported that Mount Krakatoa, which located very close to Pahawang, is actively quaking. The earthquake has happened more than 200 times in last few days even though a sign of eruption has not found.

It is not the possibility of cancelling my trip to Pahawang that disturb me the most. What disturb me the most is that this continuous disaster has started to make people scared to travel to Indonesia, forgetting all the beauty it is usually more famous for.

I believe, many of you would think about that massive catastrophe happened more than a hundred years ago when you heard about Mount Krakatoa. For the love to Indonesian nature and for the travellorgasm I felt when I travelled to Mount Krakatoa, I write this article so that one day when Indonesian Ring of Fire has calmed down again, you would want to visit Mount Krakatoa and other parts of Indonesia again. Hence you could get the idea why I love those adventure so much. It is a beauty, not a threat!

Getting There

Going to Krakatoa from Jakarta is easy. You would need to drive or ride a bus to Merak Seaport and take a ferry crossing Sunda Strait to Bakauhuni Port. From Bakauhuni, take a local transport to Canti Jetty and take a boat to Sebesi Island. People usually stay a night at Sebesi Island and leave to Mount Krakatoa the next morning.

Warning: The sea current from Sebesi Island to Krakatoa could be very strong. It will shake your boat furiously and very sickening. Don’t sit on the deck, stay inside the boat cabin! There is a very good chance of you would be thrown out to sea if you sit on the deck because of its turbulence.

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Krakatoa

One more time, I remind you Krakatoa is not as dangerous as it used to be. Yes, it is an active volcano. But the explosive power is relatively small and is not comparable to the old Krakatoa. In fact, the mountain is now called Anak Krakatau (The Child of Krakatoa) because it is not very tall. Which means, trekking to the top is relatively short and easy.

You will be welcomed by the black sand in the shore of Krakatoa island. All along the island, the soil will look the same black and the same hot.

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From the beach, you will be guided by a ranger to start trekking to the top of the mountain. Firstly, you will need to go to the island center, about 30 minutes walking.

From the middle of the island where you could see the mountain top, rest your feet for a while and then start making your way to the top. Trust me it is farther than it looks. With the very hot temperature beneath your feet and the heat from the sun, it is actually a bit exhausting to get to the top. The land has about 45% elevation and it is very slippery because theoretically we are walking on the crumbly sand. If you stepped your foot 60 cm to the front, the sand would suck your feet 30 cm back because of its texture. In a way, we need to walk twice the distance we should. Aside from the melting temperature and the annoyingly slippery soil, the road  is relatively easy. You don’t need a special shoe, a normal mountain sandal will do.

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I believe some of you has started to question where the magical part of Mount Krakatoa that gets me the feeling of travellorgasm is. The answer is inside this quote by Yvonne Woon:

“Sometimes, you have to look back in order to understand the things that lie ahead.”  

Yes. You have to look the scenery behind you when you are walking the path to Mount Krakatoa top. I did that after about 30 minutes walking. The moment when I turned my head to the back was the moment when I get a goosebump from my head, down to my toe. It was the magnificent view of the blue ocean combined with the perfect formation of Small Rakata Island and Big Rakata Island at the horizon of my eyes. This is beautified by the elevating landscape on my left and right side. Far down from where I was, it was people walking up the same path I just passed. Combined together, everything makes a perfect painting of adventure in my mind. Like a postcard but with people inside it, is alive and walking. Ah! Such a beauty of The Scary Krakatoa! I intentionally do not post that amazing scenery on this article just so you could feel it yourself if you ever visited Krakatoa. You know, just like watching a good movie without watching the trailer first.

On the top of Krakatoa you have just 2 things to do. First, sit down, turn your head 360 degrees, and enjoy the scenery.

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Second, take photographs! You may want to take a creative one like wearing your graduation gown or take a romantic shot like my friends did.

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What else can we do in Krakatoa?

Islands and ocean in Krakatoa is good place for Snorkelling and beach adventuring. Just wear your snorkel and jump down to the crystal clear water! Don’t miss the sunset as well.

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As the final words, I want to invite you to pray together for the safety of Indonesia. While all the media now publishing the story of the fierce volcano eruption, I want to remind you as well that volcano is not always a monster. It could as well be a place to make memories with friends when it calms. Let’s pray this disaster will come to an end soon so we can once again enjoy Indonesia’s nature.  It is a beauty, not a threat!

Baduy Dalam (Inner Baduy) Tribe, Indonesia: an Ethnic Runaway to a Primitive Tribe Who Barely Watch Television or Even Wear Sandal!

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“To seek a piece of rare ethnicity which I could probably find in Baduy Dalam,” straightforwardly and unhesitatingly I gave my friend an answer when he asked me: “Why do you want to have all the difficulties trekking for hours up and down the hill going through a jungle in a monsoon season?”. I was right!

Baduy Dalam (Inner Baduy) is a primitive tribe living deep in the jungle of Banten, Indonesia. When I said primitive, I was talking about a real primitiveness. Obviously, using your gadget or camera is something prohibited in this village. No kidding, not to mention about electricity that you wouldn’t find in the village, they don’t even use nails, hammers, saw, or axe to build a house. Everything was built using only what nature provides. Wearing a shoe or sandal or slipper is something against their beliefs. They wear their own traditional clothing and will not wear any t-shirt you give. Some people do not even speak Bahasa Indonesia (mother language of Indonesia)!

Before I talk more about Baduy Dalam uniqueness, let me explain to you how to get to Baduy Dalam.

How to Get to Baduy from Jakarta?

This is how I get to Baduy:

  1. Take commuter line train from Jakarta to Rangkasbitung (2 hours ride). Price: IDR 3500
  2. Charter an Angkot (Indonesian very mini public bus) to Ciboleger (1,5 hours). Price: depends on negotiation
  3. Get some rest and start the journey to Baduy Dalam as Ciboleger is the entrance of Baduy. Expect to see some Baduy people at Ciboleger at weekend and holiday season.

Journey by Foot to Baduy Dalam

The journey to Baduy Dalam is not an easy one. The village could only be reach by foot. It took 4-5 hours of trekking. It may not sound so difficult for people who get used to hiking or trekking, but trust me, it is. I do hike mountains, but I still consider the path to Baduy Dalam is not an easy one to trek to. We have to walk through the jungle going up and down the hill. Some of the road, if not most, has really extreme elevation degrees, 60-70 degrees. The road is obviously not an asphalt road, it is not a rocky road either, it is muddy one instead because of the heavy rain. Going up is still okay. But could you imagine to walk down a soaking wet muddy road sloping down 70 degrees in the middle of heavy rain? I couldn’t even steadily stand on my feet!

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So why would I want to go to Baduy Dalam in the middle of Monsoon Season? Why not wait until dry season hence my journey would be easier? It is because people of Baduy Dalam only accept visitors at specific time. January is one of it. If I didn’t go in January, I would need to wait at least until May. Yes, they have a strict rule for visitor and they don’t accept visitor from outside Indonesia.

So without thinking twice, driven by my thirst of pure ethnicity, I decided to go there! Even though it was in really bad raining season!

Until halfway, the area is called Baduy Luar (Outer Baduy). People living here has the same race as people of Baduy Dalam, but they are more open to the world and they watch TV :p. We will have to pass through some villages in Baduy Luar. Here, I can still use camera to document how the village look like. Here are some shots from the life in Baduy Luar.

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Baduy Luar and Baduy Dalam was separated by a bridge. After crossing this bridge, it is already Baduy Dalam area that still close themselves from outer world. Thus, after crossing the bridge, I need to turn off all my gadget and electronic devices, including my camera, so no single documentaries was taken in the Baduy Dalam area. Some of my travelling mates were even asked by people of Baduy Dalam who guide us to wear off their watches. In short, we are not allowed to look so modern to enter the village. One of the guy told me that some times ago, a visitor was not allowed to enter the village by the elder just because of the sunglasses that he hang on his shirt.

This is the bridge that separate us from the outer world.

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After crossing the bridge, the jungle looks so much different. It is more fertile. The trees are higher. The water in the river is clearer. And the atmosphere is calmer.

After an hour walking in Baduy Dalam, I was separated from my group due to speed differences. The night has fallen and the sky was dark. I was totally alone on my path in the dark. The only light was one that my headlamp emitted. I could feel the mystique atmosphere. I don’t have such a gift, but I could feel something supernatural. I could feel the mystical force. It wasn’t something evil and intimidating, instead it was something very comfortable . I felt so peaceful that every single step I took feels like a walking meditation.

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Even until now, I’m struggling to find the right words to describe how Baduy Dalam look like and what I felt when I was in Baduy Dalam. It is totally different world in there. As I told you it is forbidden to use camera in there. But I think even with picture, it would still hard to tell how Baduy Dalam look like and what kind of life people in there living. It is a kind of place, a kind of life, that we need to experience ourselves to understand.

The Village.

There are 3 villages in Baduy Dalam. I visited one in the outermost. The other 2 are located deeper in the jungle. The number of the village will remain 3 all the time, each represent 3 different worlds in Baduy Dalam religion (human world, spirit world, and the world in between).

The village is nothing but a group of huts in the middle of the jungle.  They are made of woods and people do not use nails, hammer, axe, or saw to build one. They only use what the jungle provides as the material. All the houses are facing to either north or south. None of them are facing to west or east, again it is because of their beliefs.

These wooden huts are located close to the river that plays a vital role to support Baduy Dalam people’s life. The clear water flowing through the river is what people drink, what people use to make food, what people use to clean themselves, and what people use to water the farm. 

As what you probably start to imagine in your mind, the road in the village is merely just soil. Obviously it’s not made of asphalt or rocks. It is just soil which can be very muddy and wet after the rain.

Well, basically it is just a very primitive and traditional village in the middle of the jungle with no single trace of technology involved when it was built. Do you think it’s attractive? If it start to interest you because of its nothingness, the way the people live in Baduy Dalam that I’m just about to tell you may attract your interest more and make your imagination more vivid.

How Is People in Baduy Dalam Different from Us?

1. The Difference in Basic Principle of Raising Kids.

If you are a parent of a 10 years old kid, a normal one, you would probably utterly say NO to your kids when he/she wants to leave house and play outside. Well, with Security as an excuse, normal parents in the world would most likely give the same answer; but not there in Baduy Dalam. Parents in Baduy Dalam would teach their kids to go out of home and play in the jungle since they are very young. At the age of 5, the parents will even start to take their kids walk down the road to Ciboleger to see outside world. Very contradictive with the world we live in, right? Baduy Dalam parents basically want their kids to see the world, explore, play, and live in it since they are very young. While parents in our world usually limit their kids’s world to ones they think safe.

2. Extraordinary Physical Fitness

Perhaps it is because the parents take the kids to go strolling the jungle barefootedly since they are 5, people in Baduy is extremely strong and agile.

While it took about 4 hours for me to get to Baduy Dalam from Ciboleger, they can do it in 1 hour!

While even on a decent trekking shoe it was still hard for me to stand steadily on the wet, muddy, 70 degrees sloping down road; they can steadily stand barefootedly, and freely roaming around here and there. Effortlessly.

While I have been sweating my body from head to toe after an hour walking up and down the hill; sweat was nowhere seen in their body. The hair still looks dry. Not to mention they helped to carry some of the girls luggages.

3. Religion

 Everything in the village is ruled by their religion. It rules almost every single aspect of life.

They have their own religion, it is called Sunda Wiwitan. This religion regulates how people live every day. The clothes people wear, the equipment people use, the birth of new village member, the marriage, the funeral, the education system, what people allow and disallow to do; everything is regulated under the religion and people are strictly following this. They also have their own month & year system which also be regulated by the religion.

They don’t have daily or weekly ritual to worship their God. Jaro, the head of the village told me that everything they do every day in life is their ritual. But they do have a celebration called Kawulan on February to April. I don’t know what they do at Kawulan, but they close the village to visitors during this period. 

The village is ruled by what they called as Pu’un. This Pu’un can be equivalent to a king. His word is absolute. Pu’un is not allowed to meet any people not from Baduy Dalam. His house is even isolated and visitor is not allowed to get close to his house.

Second in command would be Jaro, the head of the village. He knows outside world better than anyone in the village. He is the representative of the village. He would sometimes need to leave the village to attend national tribe summit held by Indonesian government. I learnt about Baduy Dalam from the dialogue with him.

4. Devotion in Religion and Tradition

Two of the traditions that they embrace is to always be barefooted and to limit themselves from using technology including transportation. These 2 rules don’t stop them to go explore the world beyond their home. One of the guy told me that sometime he would go to Jakarta. Walking. And Barefooted. With their extreme physical fitness, all they take is 1,5 days. Go google how far Ciboleger from Jakarta is. Imagine if we had to walk it barefootedly.

What I Got from My Trip to Baduy Dalam

Baduy Dalam. In my mind, I have more memories about it than what I just told. My visit to Baduy Dalam was just a 2 days one night stay, yet I learn a lot of things.

Firstly, it was the feeling of “enough” and satisfaction in the nothingness. People there don’t have steady income or house or car or savings. But I can feel the atmosphere of satisfaction. Of having enough and true happiness of having what they have. They don’t ask for more. They smile and happy with what their have.

I think it’s a very noble feeling. In the real world, new things keep coming and their creator are smart enough to also create the feeling of necessity in our heart. We are manipulated to keep buying more things.

In the morning on my day at Baduy Dalam, while having breakfast, I saw kids smiling playing and running around the village. Their laughter were one of the most sincere I have ever heard. I think to myself that even without high end game console, people can still be happy and satisfied. While it’s very hard sometime for us to be thankful and satisfied with what we have, isn’t our own existence something to be thankful of?

Second thing that I got from my trip to Baduy Dalam is bigger wanderlust.

“Travel is never a matter of money, but of courage.”  My trip to Baduy Dalam just re-echoed what Paulo Coelho said in his book Aleph. 

Hearing the story of how they walked barefootedly to Jakarta, doesn’t it inspire you to go travel more? It does to me.

I mean, what’s your excuse? You have at least a pair of shoes, don’t you? So if you have the desire to go somewhere, just go. A trip will never be in vain. Meeting new people, hearing new stories will always teach you something new. It is something more precious than your money. So, just go!

I hope my writing about Baduy Dalam could open your mind and inspire more of you to start grab your backpack and go. It’s a different world out there! Ciao!

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P.S.: click here for the documentary video

Indonesia: Some of The Best Place to Travel To in Indonesia

Beach, Corals, Sunset, Lagoon, Mountains, Volcano, Crater, Lake; Indonesia never runs out of place to visit. These are just some of the bests.

Pantai Tanjung Bira (Bira Bay Beach)

Tanjung Bira beach is so beautiful and astonishing with its white soft sandy beach, that your feet will feel almost like stepping on wheat flour. In the location, visitor can swim, sunbathing, diving, as well as snorkelling. Visitors are able to watch and enjoy the sunrise and sunset from the same spot. They can also enjoy the beauty of two islands located just right in front of the beach, Island of Liukang and Island of Kambing. The Bay of Bira is located at the most southern tip of South Sulawesi Province, exactly at Kecamatan Bonto Bahari, Kabupaten Bulukumba. It is located 40 km away from The City of Bulu Kumba, or 200 km from The City of Makassar, the capital city.

Pegunungan Karst Bantimurung Sulawesi Selatan (South Sulawesi Karst Bantimurung Mountains)

Bantimurung National Park has one of the most beautiful nature landscape. It is so because in this national park, there is an eternal spring that water will never dry. Therefore, hundreds variety of plants can survive even in the long dry season.

Pulau Komodo (Komodo Island), NTT

Komodo National Park is an area consists of a lot of islands and sea. The islands are a home of Komodo (Varanus Komodonensis), one of the very few prehistoric reptile that still remains on earth. The nature landscape here is unique, remarked by the vast island-wide savana and its Lontar Tree (Borassus Flabellifer).

Danau Toba (Lake of Toba), Sumatera Utara

Lake of Toba is a volcanic lake, 100 km long and 30 km wide, makes it the biggest volcanic lake in the world. In the middle of the lake, there is a volcanic island, named Pulau Samosir (The Island of Samosir).

Danau Singkarak (Lake of Singkarak)

Lake of Singkarang stands between 2 regencies in West Sumatra, Solok Regency and Tanah Datar Regency. With an area of 107,8 square km, this lake is the second largest lake in Sumatra Island. The lake is the head of Batang Ombilin. Some of the water from the lake is flowing cutting through The Hill of Barisan to Batang Anai to rotate the generator at Singkarak Electricity Generation Plant, near Lubuk Alung, Padang Pariaman. Bilih fish (Mystacoleucus Padangensis) is a fish species that can’t be found anywhere else in this world but this lake; it has become one of local delicacy. Researchers reveal 19 other different species of fish that are able to survive with limited food at Lake of Singkarak.

 Gunung Kelimutu (Kelimutu Mountain), NTT

Kelimutu Mountain is an active volcano majestically stands on Flores Island, NTT Province, Indonesia. The exact location of this mountain is at Pemo Village, Kecamatan Kelimutu, Ende Regency. The mountain has three crater lakes on the top. The lake is well known as Three Colour Lakes because each has different colour, red, blue, and white. Even so, the colour actually always change as time goes by.

Baluran National Park, Jawa Timur

Baluran is The Africa of Indonesia, this national park is the face of dry forest ecosystem in Java Island; consist of savana vegetation, mangrove forest, monsoon forest, coastal forest, submontana forest, swamp forest, and the evergreen forest that will always looks green all the time. Savana vegetation dominates 40% area of Baluran National Park.

Pulau Belitung (Belitung Island), Bangka Belitung

Beautiful island, unique view of white sand beach decorated by artistic small granite stones and crystal clear sea water, surrounded by hundreds of small islands.

Bunaken, Sulawesi Utara

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Bunaken Marine Park has 20 diving spots, varying in depth up to 1344 meter. From those 20 diving spots, 12 are located around Bunaken Island. These twelve are the most visited by diver and underwater scenery fetish.

Puncak Jaya Wijaya, Papua

Indonesia should be proud of the uniqueness and the rich of nature and tradition. This time , it’s about Carstenz Pyramid, or often being called by Puncak Jaya, in Papua. This Carstenz Top is the highest in Australia and Oceania.

Danau Gunung Tujuh (Seven Mountain Lake), Jambi

Kerinci should be proud of Danau Gunung Tujuh (Seven Mountains Lake) which is the highest lake in South East Asia. Beside that, there also some other small lakes with its own unique scenery. Belibis Lake with its natural view gives a  different touch.

Pulau Derawan (Derawan Island), Kalimantan Timur

In the surrounding waters, lies a national park which is a famous diving tourism centre with depth about 5 meter. In the depth of 10 meter, lies corals farm well known as “Blue Trigger Wall”

Lembah Harau (Harau Valley)

The Valley of Harau which located in Sumatra Barat Province is a gigantic cliff with diameter reaching 400 meter. Walking to the valley is a lot of fun. With the fresh air, you can enjoy surrounding beautiful scenery. Granite Cliffs are towering with their unique shape, surrounding the valley. These granite cliffs have 80-300 meter heights. In short, from the very start when we enter The Valley of Harau, we would find a lot of beauty all along the way. It makes a lot of sense that climbers that visit the place name this place The Yosemite of Indonesia. This place has been attracting people attention for a long time. An old Dutch monument located at the bottom of Sarasah Bunta Waterfall is an evidence that The Valley of Harau has been often visited since 1926. At the monument, carved the signature of F. Rinner, Dutch Resident Assistant at Lima Puluh Koto; and two Indonesian officials, Tuanku Laras Datuak Kuning nan Hitam and Datuak Kodoh.

Kepulauan Raja Ampat (Raja Ampat Archipelago), Papua Barat

Raja Ampat is an archipelago located at the west of Papua Island, Papua Barat province, exactly at the “head” of Papua Island bird. This archipelago is ultimate destination for divers who interested in its underwater beauty.

Kawah Ijen (Ijen Crater), Jawa Timur

Ijen crater is an volcanic tourism destination in Indonesia. It has been very famous for both domestic and local tourist for its breathtaking natural scenery.

Danau Sentani (Sentani Lake), Papua

Sentani Lake is located underneath Cycloops Highland slope which spread between Jayapura City and Jayapura Regency, Papua. Sentani Lake’s landscape, with its cluster of islands in the center, is one of the prettiest in Indonesia.

Danau Ranau (Ranau Lake)

This lake is located in the border of Lampung Barat Regency, Lampung Province; and Ogan Komering Ulu Selatan Regency, South Sumatra Province. This lake was created from a big earthquake and volcanic explosion that makes a gigantic basin. Located at 4°51′45″LS,103°55′50″BT, geographically, Ranau Lake topography which consists of hills with a lot of valley, has a very comfortable weather.

Notes: all articles and pictures belong to warrenroland from Kaskus (http://www.kaskus.co.id/thread/52512e71a3cb17bf78000001/ngapain-liburan-jauh-jauh-ke-luar-negeri-kalau-negara-sendiri-belum-dikenal)